Sunday’s NFL wild-card best bets: A number we like on each game
The NFL playoffs are finally here, and ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson and Doug Kezirian, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman, Matt Youmans of the Vegas Stats & Information Network and fantasy’s Mike Clay are here to tell us what they like from this weekend’s wild-card slate.
Note: Caesars Sportsbook lines displayed as of Thursday; all times Eastern. Picks on lines available at time of posting.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7.5, 49.5)
Youmans: Kirk Cousins is in search of his first career playoff win. Drew Brees and the Saints are seeking revenge for Minnesota’s miracle playoff win two years ago. What we should see Sunday is high-level quarterback play from Cousins and Brees in a high-scoring game. This total opened 47, sharp money has pushed it to 49.5, and it’s likely to close higher.
In their past five road games, the Vikings scored an average of 32.4 points and allowed 25.4 points. Minnesota’s defense allowed 24 or more points in four of those games, the exception being when Philip Rivers and the Chargers scored 10. The offense will get a boost this weekend with the return of running back Dalvin Cook. The Vikings have scored 27 points per game with Cook on the field.
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